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Dartmouth man killed in Mexico was stabbed multiple times, niece says

Lunenburg native Bruce Allen, 70, was killed in his Progreso, Mexico, vacation apartment on Friday. (Facebook)
Lunenburg native Bruce Allen, 70, was killed in his Progreso, Mexico, vacation apartment on Friday. (Facebook) - Submitted

Bruce Allen and his partner had reached the end of their months-long winter vacation in Mexico and were due to arrive back home in Dartmouth on Thursday.

But the 70-year-old Lunenburg native was discovered Friday morning in the couple’s rented apartment stabbed to death in what family and friends are calling a botched robbery. His partner Herman Savoie found the body and alerted local police.

The Chronicle Herald spoke to Savoie’s niece who confirmed the death. The New Brunswick woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she contacted Global Affairs Canada and was able to confirm that Allen had been murdered. The woman’s mother is Savoie’s sister. She said Allen had been stabbed at least five times.

She said the pair, who had been together for 38 years, had spent the last three to four years overwintering in tourist-popular Progreso, in the Yucatan Peninsula. Neither of the men ever said they felt unsafe living there, she said.

“They just loved it there and they couldn’t wait to go back,” she said. “They’d always extend their stay.

“I used to tell them, ‘Why are you still going there, it’s so dangerous?’ I used to get so nervous when they left.”

She said she spoke to the pair regularly while they were away and was looking forward to their return.

The 25-year-old woman said she had known Allen her whole life and referred to him as Uncle Bruce. Growing up she spent several summers visiting the couple’s Dartmouth home.

“It was always the best part of the summer for me and my sisters because uncle Bruce was so fun to be around and he drove us everywhere we wanted to go,” she said. “They had a beautiful backyard full of flowers and beautiful fountains.

“He was the softest person I knew, so happy, always smiling, so kind. Nothing ever bothered him.

“I don’t think any sane person would have hurt him. He loved dancing, nothing ever bothered him. We feel so helpless because we can’t really be there for Herman either.”

She said Savoie is planning to return home next weekend with Allen’s ashes. Allen’s family requested his ashes be brought back to Lunenburg because had wanted to be buried there. Allen had two children, a daughter and son, she said.

Savoie had talked to his partner's sister on the phone Saturday night and said the suspected killer had been found by police and arrested.

Julissa García Pérez, the couple’s friend and lawyer, wrote a Facebook tribute to Allen on Saturday. Garcia Perez lives in the Mexican city.

“With deep sorrow, with much sadness and with tears in my eyes, I inform you that our friend and client died yesterday,” she wrote.

“The relatives of both people have already been informed and we are waiting for the investigations to be completed in order to give more details of this case that has left us all dismayed.”

Reg Deneau, a Canadian now living in Progreso, said in a Facebook message that he was shocked by the murder.

“Unfortunately we know only what we have seen online as we were not friends of Bruce or Herman, two of the many Canadians who winter here,” wrote Deneau. “Progreso is a very safe part of Mexico and this type of occurrence is highly unusual in the local community. Our condolences to his family and friends.”

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